Wednesday, June 27, 2007

IT Department Outsourcing


Outsourcing a part or complete IT department frees up a company's valued IT personnel so they can support their mission critical business processes. In addition many companies today are finding that they cannot take the risk or endure the financial burden of running their whole IT department in-house.

Outsourcing a part or complete IT department can make financial and business sense to companies of all sizes. In many organisations, users demand the highest level of service - both from a technical and a customer care perspective. This can be challenging for smaller in-house teams to achieve as they are often so busy tackling the day-to-day issues, making it difficult to implement any IT improvements.

Outsourcing IT department – What are the drivers?

Growing pains: - Is your company growing so rapidly or making acquisitions? What impact is this growth on your IT staff and resources? Outsourcing either a part or the whole of your IT department is now an accepted mainstream solution.

Downsizing: Is your organisation downsizing? What are the impacts of this on your IT service delivery? IT department outsourcing is an option worth evaluating to save costs and improve efficiencies.

Infrastructure refresh: Are you coming to the end of your IT systems lifecycle? (Servers, laptops, PCs). This is usually a 3 year cycle. This event is the right time to consider the options of IT department outsourcing.

Outsourcing a part or complete IT department may provide the following benefits:

# Quick deployment
# Flexibility in the choice of technology and modules
# Improvement of cash flow management
# Reduce the burden on internal IT staff
# Efficient use of internal resources
# Strong skills sets at lower costs - access to a mix of technicians with unique skills
# Better risk management, especially those risks associated with unscheduled downtime due to major disruptions.
# Avoids expensive recruitment

Risks & Costs of IT Department Outsourcing

IT department outsourcing can expose the company with associated risks that potentially have a higher costs than benefits for the company. Some of those associated risks could be:

# Loss of control over service quality
# Possibility of service disruption due to instability of vendors

Outsourcing IT services to a third party potentially puts a company’s reputation at risk - if suppliers or partners let it down. Organisations in both public and private sectors need a process of regular assurance from their external partners.

With a rigorous system in place, businesses can manage their external relationships and reputation more effectively, while allowing legal and working arrangements to be adjusted as the partnership evolves.